Photo by Richard Blick. Carmel, California, 2011.
Intro. Ezekiel 34 is the context for this passage in John 10. Even Psalm 23 talks of the Lord as our shepherd. In Ezekiel 34, God is promising two things: 1. Judgement on the shepherds of his people that are using them and preying on them, and 2. God will bring about his perfect shepherd of the sheep one day.
Jesus in John 10 says he IS THAT SHEPHERD, THE ONE THEY ARE LOOKING FOR from Ezekiel and other Old Testament passages.
The big idea: if we are truly God’s children, then God’s shalom and wholeness is found in the One who is the true gate and the true shepherd.
1. Jesus is the true gate.
Common practice would have been to have multiple families in an area build a sheep pen between their houses. They would build a wall with blocks and briar patch branches on the top to keep out predators. A night watchman would be hired to guard the one and only door. All the families had their own sheep mingled together and not branded to designate which family owned which sheep. They would separate ther sheep again each morning by each shepherd speaking and the sheep of that family following that one shepherd.
There is only one way into the pen. He does not say he is a door or one of many doors, but rather he says he is the one door. Contrary to our thinking today in our culture, there are not many ways to get to God. Jesus says there is one way and it is through him. This does not mean that we do not learn things from other cultures and religions. Muslims, for instance, have great hospitality and time together over tea without a clock rushing them. However, Islam does not save. Jesus is the one who makes this claim of exclusivity.
2. Jesus is the true sheperd.
Verse 11: Jesus says he is THE shepherd and he is good. He alone is committed to the safety of the sheep, so much so that he will die for them. Indeed, this is his purpose. He is vested with the sheep unlike a hired hand.
Kyle’s role is under-shepherd as the pastor. He is not a hired hand but loves this. His role is not to be our shepherd, but rather he is to point us to the true, one, ultimate shepherd!
3. Are we true sheep?
V14-Jesus says that he is THE shepherd, and his sheep know his voice. If we want to know if we are true sheep, the better question is do we listen to and obey the shepherd’s voice. This Bible is not solely a book of morals, though it has moral law in it. It is also not just a road map to heaven. It is more than that. It is also not only BIBLE – BASIC INFORMATION BEFORE LEAVING EARTH. The Bible, however, is God’s revelation of himself to you and me. It is his story. It is what he has done and is doing in the world. In fact, our own story only makes sense inside this story.
Have you heard and have you responded to the shepherd’s voice? We are not his sheep because of our baptism. It is because the shepherd is with us that the valley of the shadow of death no longer has fear in it for us. We are saved by the shepherd.
Vs20-21. The crowd and leaders are divided on who Jesus is. Have you heard his voice or are you divided like the religious leaders?